Saying Hello in many languages….

I used to work at Rose Avenue P.S. Toronto – the world’s most multicultural school.  rose avenue Surrounded by highrises, all immigrants.

While I was there teaching grade 4, our school was awarded a UN award as the most multicultural school in the world. (2004-2005). It was the highlight of the school year and as the Gov. General of Canada and the under secretary of the U.N. strode into the school’s small gym, 92 students stood up and said hello in their mother tongue. It took about 5 minutes!

It was a rewarding year, a year of happiness and growth for me. The tsunami was that year and our high percentage of Sri Lankan students really made it difficult. We came through, mostly by respecting our diversity – diversity was strength.

So in honor of our world’s growing togetherness. In honor of the world’s linguistic diversity – I celebrate myself and this video – Saying “Hello” in 25 languages. Can you beat him? Are you ready for the spaceship earth?

Bonus question: What language says hello like this? “Hae” ?  Or for the advanced “mulitlinguals” out there – how do you say “hangover” in more than 2 languages. Can you?

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

3 Responses

  1. Leahn says:

    Wow that’s a lot of nationalities. I work in a primary school in the Canary islands and we have 32 nationalities I thought that was multicultural but 92 is amazing.


  2. ddeubel says:

    Yeah, it was a lot. Plus, the school body was only about 700 students!

    Lots of great kids but the social demands were huge. Most were very new to Canada and the families suffered from lots of insecurity and the problems associated with being a new immigrant (poor, unemployed, social dislocation etc…). Plus, as you can see from the photo – the kids were living in old, run down apartments in the most densely populated piece of real estate in Canada. The school was/is completely surrounded by them and didn’t see a lot of sunshine! The students were always late because they were constantly waiting for an elevator to get to school….. but I do miss the place – it is very stimulating to work with people from so many nations/nationalities.

    Here’s a pic of some of my girls – from many nations.

  3. D.L says:

    I went to Rose Avenue a few years back.

    You said you taught there around 2005? I think I was in Grade 3 that year (Mr. Kennedy, was it?).

    I don’t quite remember our school receiving an award for being multicultural, but it does bring back memories of seeing the (then) Governor General somewhere.

    The foremost apartment was where my family lived, and you were(are?) right about the elevator situation. 3 elevators broken down, the remaining stopping at every single floor, even if it was full. The stairs became quite quick once you learned how to skip steps.

    I’m not sure how recent that picture is, but it brings back a few memories.

    Thank you for posting this.

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